Creating Link Popularity - Without Getting Banned by Dan Thies
By now, most webmasters know that link popularity is single most important factor in driving top search engine rankings. But did you know that some some links can actually kill your search engine rankings?
The importance of links has led to creation of "links programs" such as LinksToYou and others. If you're already in a links program, hold on to your hat, because I've got bad news for you.
How Links Programs Work: In a links program, every member of program uploads a page or pages to their website. These pages carry links to other program participants' websites.
Why They Don't Help Search Engine Rankings: All of major search engines are aware of these programs, and most of them use automated processes to weed out "identical" pages. Even if a search engine recognizes link, they won't give it much weight.
How Links Programs Can Kill Your Business: The most popular search engine in world today is Google. In late 2000, Google began a systematic campaign of permanently removing links program participants from their index. Altavista has begun a similar program, although recent problems kept them from executing it.
Don't operators of links programs know all this? Of course they do, yet they continue to operate and proliferate. Tobacco companies know cigarettes kill people, yet they continue to sell them. I'm sure both would tout "benefits" of their product as a justification.
What To Do If You're In A Links Program: First, immediately remove all of program's pages from your site. Second, remove all links they had you set up on your other pages. Third, if possible, cancel your membership... then get to work creating some legitimate link popularity.
Creating True Link Popularity If you want your site to have lasting popularity and relevance with search engines, you need links from related sites. Dedicate 10 minutes a day to locating and contacting other webmasters to swap links, adding your site to directories, and publishing articles in your area of expertise.
Create Multiple Layers Of Links For some search engines, links to your home page are good enough. At least some of your links, though, should be targeted at your internal pages. For example, if your site sells tools for gardeners, get some links set up to your "how to" and FAQ pages too. This will help you get more of your site's content into search engine, and increase referrals significantly.